A Comparative Study of Gameplay of Different Sets of Players in an Engineering Mapping Game


  • Anirban Chakraborty Department of Electrical Engineering, University of North Texas, USA
  • Zachary Simpson Department of Electrical Engineering, University of North Texas, USA
  • Rani Deepika Balavendran Joseph Department of Electrical Engineering, University of North Texas, USA
  • Gayatri Mehta Department of Electrical Engineering, University of North Texas, USA




Educational games, Engineering games, Mapping, Games with a purpose, UNTANGLED III


Educators in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) field are constantly employing different tools to make the process of education streamlined and fun. The digital gaming platform also called e-gaming platform has evolved as one of the key tools to make STEM education more accessible to students. UNTANGLED III is such an e-gaming platform that is based on STEM concepts and aims to bring in players from all educational backgrounds under a common platform. The data obtained from the game gave us insights on how males and females play the game. It has answered whether there are any significant differences in the gameplay strategies between males and females. The data pertaining to the types of puzzles that players, from both genders, chose and played, was also obtained. Males and females had no stark differences in the strategies that they used in solving the puzzles. They used similar kinds of moves and in fact solved similar kinds of puzzles of similar difficulty levels. During their gameplay sessions, both the males and the females visualized similar patterns in the puzzles as evident in their final solution. The performance of players from both the genders, based on the gameplay data was at par. Suggestions obtained from the current players and outreach events hold the key to increasing the overall participation in the game.


L. Straker, R. Abbott, R. Collins, and A. Campbell, “Evidence-based guidelines for wise use of electronic games by children,” Ergonomics, vol. 57, no. 4, pp. 471–489, 2014, doi: 10.1080/00140139.2014.895856.

M. D. Dickey, “Game design and learning: a conjectural analysis of how massively multiple online role-playing games (MMORPGs) foster intrinsic motivation,” Educational Technology Research and Development, vol. 55, no. 3, pp. 253–273, Jun. 2007, doi: 10.1007/s11423-006-9004-7.

M. J. Koepp et al., “Evidence for striatal dopamine release during a video game,” Nature, vol. 393, p. 266, 1998, doi: 10.1038/30498.

M. J. Mayo, “Games for science and engineering education,” Commun. ACM, vol. 50, no. 7, pp. 30–35, Jul. 2007, doi: 10.1145/1272516.1272536.

B. Elena and S. Karen, Learning, education and games. Pittsburgh, PA, USA: ETC Press, 2014, pp. 23–36.

M. J. Mayo, “Video games: A route to large-scale STEM education?,” Science, vol. 323, pp. 79–82, 2009, doi: 10.1126/science.1166900.

Y.-T. Wu and O. R. Anderson, “Technology-enhanced stem (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education,” Journal of Computers in Education, vol. 2, pp. 245–249, 2015, doi: 10.1007/s40692-015-0041-2.

A. Shaw, “Do you identify as a gamer? Gender, race, sexuality, and gamer identity,” New Media & Society, vol. 14, pp. 28–44, 2012, doi: 10.1177/1461444811410394.

J. Winn and C. Heeter, “Gaming, gender, and time: Who makes time to play?,” Sex Roles, vol. 61, pp. 1–13, 2009, doi: 10.1007/s11199-009-9595-7.

J. Cassell and H. Jenkins, From barbie (r) to mortal kombat. MIT Press Ltd, 2000.

W.-H. D. Huang, D. W. Hood, and S. J. Yoo, “Gender divide and acceptance of collaborative Web 2.0 applications for learning in higher education,” The Internet and Higher Education, vol. 16, pp. 57–65, 2013, doi: 10.1016/j.iheduc.2012.02.001.

T. Hartmann and C. Klimmt, “Gender and computer games: Exploring females’ dislikes,” Journal of Computer‐Mediated Communication, vol. 11, pp. 910–931, 2006, doi: 10.1111/j.1083-6101.2006.00301.x.

W. J. Tippett et al., “Convergent validity and sex differences in healthy elderly adults for performance on 3D virtual reality navigation learning and 2D hidden maze tasks,” CyberPsychology & Behavior, vol. 12, pp. 169–174, 2009, doi: 10.1089/cpb.2008.0218.

M. Tlauka, A. Brolese, D. Pomeroy, and W. Hobbs, “Gender differences in spatial knowledge acquired through simulated exploration of a virtual shopping centre,” Journal of Environmental Psychology, vol. 25, pp. 111–118, 2005, doi: 10.1016/j.jenvp.2004.12.002.

M. Ingalhalikar et al., “Sex differences in the structural connectome of the human brain,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, vol. 111, pp. 823–828, 2014, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1316909110.

C. Shen, R. Ratan, Y. D. Cai, and A. Leavitt, “Do men advance faster than women? Debunking the gender performance gap in two massively multiplayer online games,” Journal of Computer‐Mediated Communication, vol. 21, pp. 312–329, 2016, doi: 10.1111/jcc4.12159.

A. K. Sistla, K. Patel, and G. Mehta, “Crowdsourcing the mapping problem for design space exploration of custom reconfigurable architecture designs,” Human Computation, vol. 2, 2015, doi: 10.15346/hc.v2i1.5.

G. Mehta et al., “UNTANGLED: A game environment for discovery of creative mapping strategies,” ACM Transactions on Reconfigurable Technology and Systems (TRETS), vol. 6, p. 13, 2013, doi: 10.1145/2517325.

G. Mehta, K. Patel, and N. S. Pollard, “On fast iterative mapping algorithms for stripe based coarse-grained reconfigurable architectures,” International Journal of Electronics, vol. 102, pp. 3–17, 2014, doi: 10.1080/00207217.2014.938310.

G. Mehta, K. K. Patel, N. Parde, and N. S. Pollard, “Data-driven mapping using local patterns,” IEEE Transactions on Computer-Aided Design of Integrated Circuits and Systems, vol. 32, pp. 1668–1681, 2013, doi: 10.1109/tcad.2013.2272541.

S. Cooper et al., “The challenge of designing scientific discovery games,” in Proceedings of the fifth international conference on the foundations of digital games, New York, NY, USA, 2010, pp. 40–47, doi: 10.1145/1822348.1822354.

R. Koodli, B. Keep, K. R. Coppess, F. Portela, E. Players, and R. Das, “RNA design movesets and strategies from an Internet-scale videogame,” bioRxiv, p. 326736, 2019, doi: 10.1101/326736.




How to Cite

Chakraborty, A., Simpson, Z., Balavendran Joseph, R. D., & Mehta, G. (2021). A Comparative Study of Gameplay of Different Sets of Players in an Engineering Mapping Game. International Journal of Computer and Information Technology(2279-0764), 10(4). https://doi.org/10.24203/ijcit.v10i4.127